Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Teaching Notes - New York Style

I realise that I haven't written up my notes from our posture clinic last week with Troy and Iko from New York, both of whom I just loved! I learnt so much from them in just one afternoon so I want to make sure that I write it all up while its still fresh in my mind so that I can refer back to it.

As follows:

KNOW what you are teaching. That way you can stay true to the dialogue.

When you are feeling nervous shake the energy off. Direct it somewhere i.e. with a hand gesture /a point or motion.

Watch the bodies and connect the words to the bodies to that you don't just "see" the dialogue in your head.

Don't say you're sorry for any mistakes you may make. Most students won't notice anyway as they are too busy suffering. Lol I love that one :-)

Don't sabotage yourself by saying, "I Can't". The negative energy compounds in your body. Say, "I Can". Tell your students, They Can!

We all have 100% potential to change. Just make up your mind to do so. Make up your mind to change 180 degree angle right in this moment.

Say your dialogue to the ocean or in an open space. Throw your energy out there. Practice developing your style. The ocean won't judge you.

Lead well. That way you will instill in your students the motivation to practice with integrity and energy and to work hard to "kill themselves".

Punch the words written in bold in the dialogue. These are action / command words.

Leave space between the paragraphs of dialogue. This is time for you to breath and for your students to settle into the posture.

And my favourite: You're ok! If you f*ck up, who cares? Its ONLY yoga! Its NOT supposed to be a stressful job. Enjoy yourself :-)

Remember why you wanted to become a teacher and carry this with you into your class. Convey it to your students and they will have a good class regardless of how you deliver the dialogue.

So you can see based on these notes, why I enjoyed the afternoon with Troy and Iko SO much. If I'm ever in NY I will be def be looking them up and heading to their studio!

Tuesday with Terry

Our Posture Clinic today was held by Terry who owns a studio in Merrimac Valley, Mass. She rocked! I would love to take a class with her. Her feedback and energy for everyone was great and so I have a whole page of notes that I took as a result.

She started by telling us the rules in her studio. They are as follows:
1. You have to breathe
2. You can only nod your head yes. Shaking your head no can cause brain damage
3. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, "how cute am I!" :-)

As you can imagine, based on these I warmed to her immediately. So, following are my notes, which are taken from the persepective of learning to teach so may or may not be of interest to other peops. ( They may seem a bit all over the place and random but they were written down after different people delivered their dialogue so there were numerous scenarios.)

The posture we had to deliver dialogue for today was Bow Pose. One of the lines in the set up for the hand position is; Say "Mama give me money" (to which the students are supposed to reply, Mama give me money).

Its as corney as it reads and feels even more corney saying it out loud let alone in front of the class. BUT one thing that Terry said, was that if you don't get used to asking the "Universe" for money then you're not going to get it! SO fellow yogis at home, get used to it, cos I'm going to be saying it and expecting you to say it back! LOL

Beginners will always look at you rather than at themselves in the mirror NO matter how many times you ask them to look in the mirror. She said if you do catch someone's eye to smile (for Beg's this reassures them that they WILL survive ) and then look away because as a new teacher it will be easy to get distracted by them. Its better to concentrate on the bodies.

There will be two dialogues running while you teach.
1. The external dialogue that you are saying to the class.
2. Your internal dialogue that you are saying in your head.
Make sure you don't let the Internal dialogue come out!

If you make too many unnecessary hand gestures while teaching try holding your water bottle. This will help you stop waving your hands around.

Give your students space to have their own energy. Hold onto some of your own so that you don't fill the room with your energy. This will exhaust you and your students.

Don't try and create the energy in the room. Let it build naturally. Start in Pranayama. Give a little and let them answer. Its a conversation. You say the dialogue and the bodies answer.
You need to learn how to build the energy so that you can teach at any time of the day and adjust your energy accordingly.

Precision in YOUR dialogue creates precision in THEIR practice.

When you see mistakes in a posture repeat the line of dialogue that will give the required instructions to correct. Don't ever adjust the student yourself. By saying the dialogue and letting the students self correct they will learn better.

You don't need to control your students journey. Let them make their mistakes. Tell them to come back tomorrow. To try again. They will learn in their own time when they are ready. Again this is why we don't adjust them ourselves.

If you get stuck and can't remember the next line of dialogue, repeat the last line you just said until the next line comes to you. Students will just think you are correcting someone in the class. Hee hee

Say it. See it. Process it.
Really connect with the bodies. Your eyes should look at the body parts you are talking about.

Set a Mantra for each posture. This is what you can say if you can't remember anything else. :-)
E.g. Lock the knee, lock the knee, lock the knee. Change.

Take care of yourself. When practicing in class, check your ego at the door. Do 100% of the posture correctly for how your body is feeling THAT day. Yoga is a lifetime practice. You have for ever, therefore you don't have to do everything today.